Field Museum

Field Museum The Field Museum fuels a journey of discovery across time to enable solutions for a brighter future And we’re on it. 🌎
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We fuel a journey of discovery across time to enable solutions for a brighter future rich in nature and culture. Every day we contribute to groundbreaking scientific research thanks to almost 40 million specimens and objects in our collections and over 150 scientists on staff. Discovering, collecting, collaborating, researching, educating, conserving, solving—there’s a lot of work to do.

🎶 “Do you wanna take a picture of some snow, man?” 🎶 In 1885, pioneering microphotographer Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley be...
12/01/2023

🎶 “Do you wanna take a picture of some snow, man?” 🎶

In 1885, pioneering microphotographer Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley became the first person to capture a single snow crystal on film.

Bentley captured 5,000 images of snowflakes—no two alike—by using this method:

🥶 Wait outside for snow to fall
🪶 Use a feather to handle fallen flakes
🔬 Use a camera connected to a microscope and capture flakes after a minute and a half exposure.

🎶 Deck the main hall with help from Máximo! 🎶 🎄🦕
11/30/2023

🎶 Deck the main hall
with help from
Máximo! 🎶
🎄🦕

Wake me up when it’s 65 and sunny. 😑While people have preferences for the climates we live in, we can usually maintain p...
11/28/2023

Wake me up when it’s 65 and sunny. 😑

While people have preferences for the climates we live in, we can usually maintain pretty stable body temperatures despite our environments. This internal temperature regulation means we’re “endothermic.” 🔥🐻

On the other hand, reptiles and amphibians—like this prehensile-tailed skink from the southwest Pacific—are “ectothermic:” they rely on their environments to regulate their temperature. 🌡️ 🦎

If a reptile or amphibian is too hot or cold for its metabolism to function properly, they’ll find a warmer or cooler spot. Or, if they live in a region where temperatures are consistently below freezing during winter, they might conserve energy by slowing their metabolism and resting at home until it warms up again—a process known as brumation! 🛏️

Happy Leftover Glow-Up Day ✨ 🍖 ✨In 2016, we opened our updated striped hyena diorama—our first new diorama in 60 years! ...
11/24/2023

Happy Leftover Glow-Up Day ✨ 🍖 ✨

In 2016, we opened our updated striped hyena diorama—our first new diorama in 60 years! 🎉

These mammals were brought back from Somalia in 1896, preserved in 1899, and relocated to our Hall of Reptiles in 1990. 🐍

Thanks to help from our Field fans who made the hyena diorama's renovation and relocation possible, these munching mammals will continue to fuel awareness and conservation efforts for a species in decline. 👏

High art. 👏🦖 🎨: xanosaurus, Instagram
11/22/2023

High art. 👏🦖

🎨: xanosaurus, Instagram

Traveling this week through Chicago O'Hare International Airport? ✈️ Be sure to say "hi!" to our long-necked Brachiosaur...
11/21/2023

Traveling this week through Chicago O'Hare International Airport? ✈️

Be sure to say "hi!" to our long-necked Brachiosaurus during your long layover! 🦕

📸: Steven Ray Morris, Instagram

Ready for a heaping serving of turkey DYKs? 🦃 ⬇️ 🪶 These birds can have upwards of 6,000 feathers. Up close, the males’ ...
11/21/2023

Ready for a heaping serving of turkey DYKs? 🦃 ⬇️

🪶 These birds can have upwards of 6,000 feathers. Up close, the males’ feathers show a multitude of gorgeous colors, from reds and golds to iridescent blues and greens

⚖️ Turkeys are one of the heaviest North American birds, but it doesn’t keep them from taking flight! They can reach an astonishing 55 mph in the air and more than 20 mph on land.

📢 Only male turkeys "gobble": they use this sound to announce themselves to females.

'Tis the season for some sharp-toothed shopping suggestions! 🎁 🦖 Despite SUE the T. rex's stoney glares and missing hear...
11/17/2023

'Tis the season for some sharp-toothed shopping suggestions! 🎁 🦖

Despite SUE the T. rex's stoney glares and missing heart, our apex predator isn't a scrooge. 💙❄️

Check out this fierce fossil's 2023 gift guide for the small humans in your life. ➡️ https://fieldmuseum.io/SUEs2023GiftGuide

How your email finds me. 🙃For millennia, humans have turned to leeches when trying to treat illness. 🏥Before the early 1...
11/16/2023

How your email finds me. 🙃

For millennia, humans have turned to leeches when trying to treat illness. 🏥

Before the early 1800s, particularly in Europe, many ailments were believed to be caused by an imbalance of one of the body’s four humors—blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile. 🔴🟢🟡⚫️

One treatment to rebalance them was to drain blood, often by applying leeches and letting them feed. 🩸

This illustration from Boccaccio’s “Decameron” shows Roman emperor Galerius being treated with leeches for a disease that caused a putrid stench. 🤢

This practice was known as bloodletting and was performed so extensively that mechanical tools—blades, suction cups, and bowls—were invented to drain, collect, and control blood during the procedures. 😮

The medical utility of leeches has since transferred into modern, science-based medicine—they are sometimes used to stimulate blood flow after surgery to reattach fingers, toes, or other small body parts. 🧑‍⚕️

Learn more about the history of bloodletting in new special exhibition, Bloodsuckers: . ➡️ https://fieldmuseum.io/bloodsuckers

This isn't a dino; it's a di-NOT!Dimetrodon is a non-mammalian synapsid that lived 280 to 265 million years ago, about 2...
11/14/2023

This isn't a dino; it's a di-NOT!

Dimetrodon is a non-mammalian synapsid that lived 280 to 265 million years ago, about 25 million years before dinosaurs appeared. ⏰

While Dimetrodon *does* share a common relative with dinosaurs, it's a distant one that lived 315 - 330 million years ago. 🦖

In fact, this commonly misclassified animal is actually more closely related to YOU than SUE the T. rex. 🤯

Check out some beautiful   beadwork from Conservation Technician J. Kae Good Bear (Navajo/Mandan/Hidatsa)! 👏Read J. Kae’...
11/13/2023

Check out some beautiful beadwork from Conservation Technician J. Kae Good Bear (Navajo/Mandan/Hidatsa)! 👏

Read J. Kae’s story behind the sneaker. ⬇️

“I am an artist and sneaker head of Navajo, Mandan, and Hidatsa descent. I was born and rasied on the Navajo reservation and fortunate enough to be exposed to cultural knowledge and teachings integral to cultural survival.

I was taught traditional Native American methods of manufacture of cultural items. I’ve also received a Western art education at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

My current work investigates where these various aspects of my life intersect. Growing up, basketball was the biggest leveler between Native and non-Native towns across the State of Arizona. Basketball courts were one of the only spaces where Western training and privilege didn’t necessarily guarantee one victory.

As a maker, I’m comfortable with finding and creating a respectful juxtaposition of Indigenous art elements and attaching them to items from the Western world.

Some of the items I most frequently get requests for from the Indigenous community are baseball caps, sneakers, and medallion necklaces. Each piece allows me to investigate the tension and balance through iconography that exists from being a modern-day citizen of the United States as well as an original inhabitant of this country.”

This sneaker is currently on display at Haz Cooperative Studios in Chicago.

📸 & 🎨: J. Kae Good Bear

Gar-anteed you've never reeled in a catch THIS big. 😳 Gars are the only surviving members of an ancient group of ray-fin...
11/09/2023

Gar-anteed you've never reeled in a catch THIS big. 😳

Gars are the only surviving members of an ancient group of ray-finned fish that first appeared over 240 million years ago. 🐟

The largest of these heavily armored, strong-jawed fish are Alligator gars: they can grow to over 6 feet long and weigh more than 100 pounds. 😮

Richard Raddatz, staff preparator, posed for scale with this specimen in 1905. 💙

Will take the plunge and do all of the things as long as long as there’s a treat at the end. 🐟 Diving often looks simple...
11/07/2023

Will take the plunge and do all of the things as long as long as there’s a treat at the end. 🐟

Diving often looks simple and elegant, but hitting the water at the wrong angle can have complex consequences for an animal’s brain. 🧠😭

In a new paper, Field scientists and co-researchers examined how some species of kingfishers can plunge headfirst into water to catch their prey without sustaining brain damage. 🐦

By comparing the DNA of 30 different kingfisher species, the team discovered that the fish-eating birds had several modified genes associated with diet and brain structure. 🧬

One of these genes codes for tau proteins, which help stabilize tiny structures inside the brain. ⛑

Learn more about how scientists will study these genomic variations. ➡️ https://fieldmuseum.io/KingfishersPopSci23

📸: Richard Towell

Clocks turned back, time for a cat nap. 🦁 💤 Lions need a LOT of shut-eye—up to 20 hours each day! 😴By sleeping during wa...
11/05/2023

Clocks turned back, time for a cat nap. 🦁 💤

Lions need a LOT of shut-eye—up to 20 hours each day! 😴

By sleeping during warmer, sunlit hours and prowling at night, these big carnivores take advantage of cooler night temperatures and tired, less vigilant prey. 🤫

Since those protein-packed midnight snacks require a sizeable amount of energy to digest, lions will rest after they eat. 🍽🛌

Day of the Dead, or Día de los Mu***os, is celebrated every November 1-2 in Mexico. Families invite loved ones who have ...
11/02/2023

Day of the Dead, or Día de los Mu***os, is celebrated every November 1-2 in Mexico.

Families invite loved ones who have passed on back to the world of the living with ofrendas decorated with photos of relatives, favorite foods, and marigolds. 🕯

Last weekend, artists, conservationists, and community members came together as Roots & Routes partners to celebrate Día de los Mu***os with music, dance performances, and art installations. 🎶🎨

Swipe to take a peek at the work of our collaborators. 👏 ⬇️

💙 Héctor Duarte and Alfonso “Piloto” Nieves
💙 Casa Michoacán Federación De Clubes Michoacános En Illinois
💙 Northeastern Illinois University
💙 UIC Plant Research Greenhouse
💙 Women for Green Spaces - Mujeres por Espacios Verdes e
💙 The Nature Conservancy in Illinois
💙 Chicago Park District

📸: Kyle Flubacker

PSA: Beware PSL-colored fungi. 🍄 🎃 The jack-o’-lantern mushroom LOOKS like a seasonally aesthetic snack, but don’t carve...
10/31/2023

PSA: Beware PSL-colored fungi. 🍄 🎃

The jack-o’-lantern mushroom LOOKS like a seasonally aesthetic snack, but don’t carve up these festive fungi: they’re poisonous. ❌

Instead of digging in, step back and wait for night to fall in the hardwood forest where you found the fungi. 🌙🌲

You’ll see a soft, greenish bioluminescent light from the mushrooms’ gills! Like grinning pumpkins on porches, these jack-o’-lanterns may glow to attract animals (like fungus gnats) to carry away treats (fungal spores). 👻

“I am NOT a jack-o’-lantern—my name is LEWIS (the crabeater seal).” 🎃 This animal’s one-of-a-kind smile isn’t something ...
10/31/2023

“I am NOT a jack-o’-lantern—my name is LEWIS (the crabeater seal).” 🎃

This animal’s one-of-a-kind smile isn’t something you’ll see on many other mammals. 🤩

The crabeater seal’s interlocking teeth act as a sieve, filtering their favorite food from the water: krill! 🦐

While snack time’s pretty simple, flossing’s out of the question. 🪥💀

Trick AND Treat—hummingbird moths here looking for something sweet! 🌸🍫 These pollinators’ costumes and behavior are SO b...
10/29/2023

Trick AND Treat—hummingbird moths here looking for something sweet! 🌸🍫

These pollinators’ costumes and behavior are SO bird-like, while in fast flight they’re frequently mistaken for their nectar-loving lookalikes across the Northern Hemisphere. 🐦

At rest, some species of hummingbird moth look a little more like another clear-winged insect: bees! 🐝

NOW OPEN: our new special exhibition,  Bloodsuckers:  .🩸 🧛 Meet more than 90 blood-sucking specimens up close, including...
10/27/2023

NOW OPEN: our new special exhibition, Bloodsuckers: .🩸

🧛 Meet more than 90 blood-sucking specimens up close, including live leeches and lamprey

🧛 Take a journey through classic movies and historical depictions of vampires

🧛 Get sucked into hands-on, interactive activities for the whole family.

Find answers to your biting questions about nature’s vampires in Bloodsuckers, open now through September 2, 2024.🩸 https://fieldmuseum.io/bloodsuckers

BOO. 👻 🦖
10/26/2023

BOO. 👻 🦖

“On second thought — you DO look 14,600,000,000 days older than 4 billion.” After taking a closer look at the compositio...
10/25/2023

“On second thought — you DO look 14,600,000,000 days older than 4 billion.”

After taking a closer look at the composition of crystals brought back from Apollo 17’s 1972 trip to the Moon, scientists have shifted the date of its formation back 40 million years — making it 4.46 billion years old. 🌚

The crystals are the oldest known solids formed when a giant object the size of Mars crashed into a still-growing Earth. Since the energy of the impact melted the rock that became the Moon’s surface and made it too hot for crystals to survive, any crystals found by astronauts and scientists would’ve formed after the lunar magma cooled. 🔥💎

Using what they know about radioactive decay timelines, the authors of a new paper analyzed the crystals atom-by-atom to evaluate a) how many atoms had decayed and b) based on the total number of decayed atoms, how long it had been since that process began — aka the minimum age of the Moon. 🗓

Congratulations to the research team — led by Philipp Heck, the Museum's Robert A. Pritzker Curator for Meteoritics and Polar Studies and the Senior Director of the Negaunee Interactive Research Center! 👏

Read more. ➡️ https://fieldmuseum.io/MoonAgeWaPo23

📸: NASA

🎶 Their house is a museumWhen people come to see 'emThey really are a screamingThe Dermestid family. 🎶For more than 180 ...
10/25/2023

🎶 Their house is a museum
When people come to see 'em
They really are a screaming
The Dermestid family. 🎶

For more than 180 generations, the same lineage of Dermestid beetles has been efficiently and gently munching away to produce pristine skeletons for the collection. 🦴✨

Each year, these hungry beetles clean around 5,000 bird skeletons, as well as various mammals, herptiles, and fishes. For our little beetles, flesh-eating isn’t a Halloween horror but a way of life. And for that, we’re grateful! 🥰

Wolverine’s real — he’s just a furry, clawed frog. 🐸 Meet the “horror frog” / “hairy frog” / “Wolverine frog”, Trichobat...
10/24/2023

Wolverine’s real — he’s just a furry, clawed frog. 🐸

Meet the “horror frog” / “hairy frog” / “Wolverine frog”, Trichobatrachus robustus: a West African frog with some characteristics straight out of a comic book. 📖

The weird filaments lining the sides of males during mating season look like substantial sideburns, but they’re really fleshy blood vessels. 🩸

These cardiovascular add-ons help a dad take in oxygen more efficiently when he spends an extended time keeping an eye on his mate’s eggs. 🥚 👀

Caution to anyone who appears as a threat to these X-tra animals: they’ll protect themselves by breaking their toe bones, slipping them through their skin, and wielding them like claws. 😳

This week’s gonna SUCK. Bloodsuckers:   opens this Friday, October 27, but some of the special exhibition’s first animal...
10/23/2023

This week’s gonna SUCK.

Bloodsuckers: opens this Friday, October 27, but some of the special exhibition’s first animals have already moved in — live sea lampreys! 😱

These parasitic fish have toothy tongues arranged in a circular, suction cup-like mouth to help scrape through their hosts’ skin and scales to get a better grip. 🦷

Once they’ve attached to their targets, sea lampreys release a powerful blood thinner to make eating easier. 😋🩸

While these bloodsuckers currently feast on fish throughout the Great Lakes, they’re not native to Chicago’s waters: they arrived via shipping canals from the Atlantic Ocean, where they’ve been swimming for 360 million years. 🌊🛥

Plan your visit to meet more blood-feeding animals, insects, and legendary creatures in our newest special exhibition. ➡️ https://fieldmuseum.io/bloodsuckers

10/19/2023

It's almost — drop us an emoji in the comments today and come back tomorrow for a dino-mite surprise. 🎁🦖

How often do you think about the Roman Empire? Probably more than about Thracian royals, like the one who owned this hel...
10/18/2023

How often do you think about the Roman Empire?

Probably more than about Thracian royals, like the one who owned this helmet. They marked the start of monarchical and oligarchical systems of rule in southeastern Europe nearly 3,000 years ago. 👑

Ancient Balkan rulers like the Thracians are largely known from the archaeological record, but they appeared in written records when they encountered the Greeks and Romans. ✍️

Those historians remembered them as “formidable,” of “dubious loyalty,” and "uncivilized barbarians.” 😳

This was, of course, propaganda created by the Roman Empire, which ultimately conquered, colonized, and transformed the Balkan Peninsula. 🤷

Learn more about how Europe’s first Iron Age kings and queens lived in an increasingly unequal society in special exhibition . 👑 fieldmuseum.org/firstkings

10/18/2023

A non-narrated walkthrough of the mesmerizing maze of dioramas in Animal Biology. 🐻

Deer-ly wishing you could have a few more minutes of summer sun before temperatures start falling? Tap through our four-...
10/17/2023

Deer-ly wishing you could have a few more minutes of summer sun before temperatures start falling?

Tap through our four-sided Four Seasons diorama. 🌷☀️ 🍂❄️

Created by Carl and Delia Akeley in the early 1900s, this intricate and scientifically accurate diorama represents a family of white-tailed deer as they change and grow through spring, summer, fall, and winter. It's an incredible display of taxidermy, artistry, observation, and dedication. 🦌

Every element is handmade, including 17,000 wax leaves—each uniquely painted! 😮

A little bit of extra luck this   the 13th, courtesy of SUE’s wishbone. 🦴 ✨ Thanks to decades of study and research, we ...
10/13/2023

A little bit of extra luck this the 13th, courtesy of SUE’s wishbone. 🦴 ✨

Thanks to decades of study and research, we made some important scientific updates to our fierce fossil in 2018, including the placement of the skeleton’s furcula, or wishbone. This better informed SUE’s shoulder blade positioning, which led to slightly lower arms. 🔍

Learn more about the other updates we made to our apex predator. 🦖 bit.ly/BiggerBetterSUE

🎶 Nibblin’ on sponge cakeWatchin’ the sun bakeHunkerin’ down with marine arthropods 🎶 🐌☀️ Meet Cayo margarita — a new le...
10/12/2023

🎶 Nibblin’ on sponge cake
Watchin’ the sun bake
Hunkerin’ down with marine arthropods 🎶 🐌☀️

Meet Cayo margarita — a new lemon-yellow species of snail discovered by Field scientists in the Florida Key and named after Jimmy Buffett’s famous song, “Margaritaville.” 🦜

These brightly colored animals like sticking to hard surfaces within their coral reef, forming tubular shells around themselves, and settling in for a while. 🥂😎

The small specimens remind scientists about the biological diversity right under our noses that’s yet to be discovered! 💙

Read more. ➡️ https://fieldmuseum.io/MargaritavilleSnailsCNN23

📸: Rüdiger Bieler

Giant ground sloth's hide-and-seek game needs...a *little* bit of work. 🙈Megatherium evolved in South America, but as gr...
10/11/2023

Giant ground sloth's hide-and-seek game needs...a *little* bit of work. 🙈

Megatherium evolved in South America, but as grasslands spread across the land bridge, they moved to and lived in North America until the end of the Pleistocene about 12,000 years ago. 🌿

These 20-foot-tall, eight-ton mega mammals could reach branches out of reach to smaller herbivores and eat avocados whole, dispersing the large seeds as they went. 💩

10/11/2023

There are more species of weevils on Earth than all vertebrate animals COMBINED. 🤯

10/09/2023

Join us for part of our Indigenous Peoples' Day celebration: a performance from Danza Azteca, the cultural inheritance of the descendants of Mesoamerica’s first peoples. 💙

This performance shares Nahui Ollin Huehuecoyotl: an ancient tradition, a prayer in motion, which helps people live a more balanced life—physically, mentally, and emotionally.

10/09/2023

Join us for part of our Indigenous Peoples' Day celebration: a performance from The Comunidad Kichwa Runa, a group of Indigenous Kichwa people from Ecuador living in Chicago. 💙

Celebrating life AND death. ✨💀 This clay calavera (decorative skull) was made by Josefina Aguilar Alcántara, one member ...
10/08/2023

Celebrating life AND death. ✨💀

This clay calavera (decorative skull) was made by Josefina Aguilar Alcántara, one member of a Oaxacan family that has been making pottery for three generations. 💙

Before the Aguilars turned their focus to folk art, their town only produced ceramic dishes and cookware. By shifting to create decorative figurines that depicted life in rural Oaxaca, the family found a niche and a way to share their story with a wider audience: their attention to detail and use of vivid color have caught the eyes of folk art collectors internationally. 😮

While Josefina is best known for making muñecas (dolls), she made this calavera for Día de los Mu***os celebrations. Every November 1-2 in Mexico, families invite loved ones who have passed on back to the world of the living with ofrendas decorated with photos of relatives, favorite foods, marigolds, and sometimes calaveras. 🕯

Your costume quest ends here. 🎃 From the shelves of our Rare Book Room: Ulisse Aldrovandi’s posthumously published 1642 ...
10/07/2023

Your costume quest ends here. 🎃

From the shelves of our Rare Book Room: Ulisse Aldrovandi’s posthumously published 1642 Monstrorum Historia (History of Monsters) depicts mythical monstrosities in human, animal, and vegetable forms. 😱

Which spine-chilling sketch will you go as to that ghoulish get-together?

Nearly 1,000 birds died after striking the windows at McCormick Place convention center on October 5: the most Field col...
10/06/2023

Nearly 1,000 birds died after striking the windows at McCormick Place convention center on October 5: the most Field collecting efforts have documented in the past 40 years.

Every day in the spring and fall migration seasons, our scientists and volunteers have gotten up at sunrise in search of birds that have flown into the center’s windows. 🌃

When birds survive collisions with windows, the Chicago Bird Collision Monitors help bring them to wildlife rehabilitation centers to heal from injuries. 💙

When the birds don’t survive, their bodies are brought to the Museum, where they will be processed, cleaned by the museum’s flesh-eating beetle colony, and become part of our collection to inform future scientific research. 👏

In recent years, data from these collections have provided evidence that many migratory birds are shrinking due to climate change. They’ve also helped scientists make the case for turning off city lights to help migrating birds: Illuminated windows can disorient birds, resulting in more collisions. 💡 ⚠️

📸: Lauren Nassef

Mammals that could outrun SUE the T. rex in this weekend's Chicago Marathon. ⬇️ 1️⃣ Pronghorn: 50 mph🏃 The second fastes...
10/06/2023

Mammals that could outrun SUE the T. rex in this weekend's Chicago Marathon. ⬇️

1️⃣ Pronghorn: 50 mph
🏃 The second fastest land mammal after the cheetah
🏃 The fastest long-distance runners of the animal kingdom

2️⃣ Cheetah: 60 mph
🏃 Can go from 0 - 60 in 3 seconds
🏃 Built for speed: their snout is aerodynamic, and their long, skinny tail provides balance during fast turns.

3️⃣ Zebra: 35 mph
🏃Powerful legs good for speed and defensive kicks
🏃Possibly use stripes for "motion dazzle" to confuse predators as a pack

Mornings are for coffee and contemplation (of one's own mortality). 🦴 ☕️ 🦖
10/05/2023

Mornings are for coffee and contemplation (of one's own mortality). 🦴 ☕️ 🦖

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